Blended Learning – The Convergence

Blended Learning is perhaps “old wine in a new bottle”, because learning has always been an invariable combination of different methods. A combination of multiple approaches to learning,blended learning conquers the space and time constraints through online programs blended with physical classroom delivery. This way there is efficient and effective use of resources .Having become a huge success , this form of learning is said to be overtaking e-learning in this century.

Learning in the 21st century has crossed all barriers of tradition and is now focused on the learner(the customer). A more comprehensible and comfortable approach is being adopted by both corporates and educational institutions. One such flexible learning approach is ‘Blended Learning’. It has been developed as a solution to the constraint of space and time. The focus of blended learning has been on efficient and effective use of resources in order to provide the best quality education and learning experience, even while compromising on the physical class-room
delivery model. Especially when applied to corporate training programs, it is found that there is more absorption of knowledge as well as more success rate at that level. As E. A. Draffan and Peter Rainger write in “A model for the identification of challenges to blended learning”, “blended learning techniques take advantage of the variety of learning experiences that can be offered by the use of a mix of learning environments like lectures, workshops, self-paced study,online collaboration and communication exercises, simulations and the use of interactive
multimedia.”1

Learning comes along with factors like comfort and convenience to the learner as well as the teacher. One-to-one interaction and a mode of delivery that suits the learner have taken the front seat. Conducting classes and training through programs that involve e-learning, physical classroom delivery and also workshops has become common-place. An ongoing effort at many Schools and Universities has been to make students learn outside the classroom as well. Blended learning has come as the perfect solution to this. The British Council at Brussels organized a seminar in Belgium stating the importance of blended learning in English Language Teaching.The seminar focused on the fact that students tend to pick up languages more outside the classroom in different learning environments than inside the classroom.

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